P4P Stories from the field

A closer look at the farmers whose lives are being changed by P4P.


P4P triggers further investments in food quality and safety

WFP sets quality requirements for the commodities it procures in order to ensure that the beneficiaries of food assistance programmes receive food which adheres to quality standards. The same standards are applied to purchases from all suppliers, be they smallholder farmers or large corporations, without exception. This has posed a major challenge for P4P, as smallholder farmers often lack the knowledge and resources to produce crops that meet these standards.

P4P West Africa: Boosting smallholders’ sales of local bean

Niébé is a variety of cowpea grown by many smallholder farmers, primarily women, throughout West Africa. The drought-resistant bean thrives even in the dry, arid soils of the Sahel and neighboring countries and improves soil quality by fixing nutrients.  The crop is also highly nutritious, acting as a common source of protein. Because niébé is often farmed and controlled by women, it provides them with an entry point to earn income within the agricultural sector, while simultaneously improving nutrition and resilience.

From food beneficiaries to food suppliers

Proper food and nutrition play an essential role in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, allowing patients to stay healthy longer, increasing the effectiveness of the treatment and reducing its side effects. However, due to the effects of the disease, HIV-positive individuals often face increased difficulties providing for themselves and their families. The combination of food insecurity and HIV/AIDS can result in higher levels of poverty, malnutrition and increased health risks. This in turn can act as major barriers to seeking and adhering to treatment.

Guatemalan smallholders support improved nutrition

In Guatemala, poverty and malnutrition are widespread. Chronic malnutrition or stunting occurs among 50 percent of children under the age of five, the fourth highest in the world. The Maíz Chapín contra el hambre project seeks to address malnutrition by promoting the consumption of nutritious foods and food supplements. It will also bolster the Government of Guatemala’s efforts to fight hunger and rural poverty by supporting P4P’s work in developing the capacities of smallholder farmers and their organizations.

New grain equipment to benefit Ugandan smallholders

Smallholders in Uganda are often unable to access formal markets. One of the challenges facing them is poor quality grain caused by the lack of appropriate practices and modern warehouses. Because of this, one of P4P’s key activities in Uganda has been to work with farmers and private sector actors to improve storage facilities through the provision of modern grain processing equipment, which is used to clean, dry, grade and bag grain.

P4P Nicaragua: Improved negotiation skills key to success

One of P4P’s main activities in Nicaragua has been to provide capacity building among smallholder farmers and to increase their productivity, achieve better yields, and grow higher quality products. The use of agricultural inputs, such as fertilizers, insecticides and improved seeds, are key to achieving all of these goals. Throughout the pilot, P4P and partners such as Disagro and Formunica, have arranged training sessions addressing the use and importance of agricultural inputs.

P4P ripple effect: Farmers in Malawi share their success

The Mwandama farmer’s organization is located in the Zomba district in southern Malawi. It was formed in 2005 with initial support from the Millennium Village Project. Mwandama first sold to WFP in early 2010, and is now among the most active and successful farmers’ organisations on the P4P roster. The organization has been awarded a total of 11 contracts, amounting to nearly 750 mt of commodities, valued at US$176,000.

P4P links Tanzanian smallholders to national food reserve

The agreement between WFP and NFRA, signed in August 2012, formalized the understanding that WFP will purchase food from the NFRA, who in turn will buy from smallholder farmers’ organizations, including those linked to the Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative.

Supporting smallholder farmers to improve access to markets

In Tanzania, some 85 percent of the country’s maize is produced by smallholder farmers. Low productivity, long distance from markets, a lack of credit, and inadequate storage limit smallholder farmers’ capacity to sell their produce.

Smallholder farmers ready to sell beans to supermarkets

For almost five years, P4P and its partners have developed the capacities of farmers’ organizations across El Salvador by helping participating smallholders understand staple grain markets, the importance of quality and commercialization, and how to manage a small business.

Thanks to funding from Howard G. Buffett Foundation – the main donor to P4P in El Salvador - more than 15,000 smallholder farmers have been trained in agricultural techniques, post-harvest management and grain processing since 2009.

P4P Mozambique: Supporting women to produce more

Women’s low farming productivity in Mozambique is mainly due to their limited access to land and technical services in comparison to men. Unequal roles and unilateral decision making within households give women further disadvantages and less control of their livelihoods. As in other parts of Africa, women generally work for approximately 16 hours a day and spend a great portion of that on unpaid activities. 

 “It is very difficult to be a woman farmer. We go to the farm carrying the hoe, the tools and the children while our husbands don’t carry anything.